Published: Sat, February 20, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

North Korea artillery shot heard from South Korea island prompts alarm

Metal objects believed to be a part of a North Korean long range rocket launched on February 7, 2016, are seen at a naval base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, February 11, 2016.

"We are seeing what we think is pretty strong intervention", said a bank dealer in Seoul.

President Barack Obama said Friday that the violence in Libya "is just one more chapter in the change that is unfolding" across the Middle East and North Africa. The... The response is a rebuttal of the comments made by some South Korean government officials.

Barracks bullying has been a significant issue in South Korea, where all able-bodied young men must serve in the military for around two years.

The US and China are also negotiating over a UN Security Council resolution on new sanctions.

The worrying shots come after loony despot Kim Jong-un claimed to have carried out North Korea's first successful H-bomb test in January.

While the world's attention is riveted on the continuing wars in Syria and Iraq and the various military operations now fighting the Islamic State, North Korea quietly continues to ramp up its nuclear weapons capabilities in defiance of global prohibitions and warnings.

The regime has intensified its cyberwarfare as evidenced by its attacks on South Korea's financial systems and the hack of Sony Pictures here in the United States.

He also said Tokyo will continue to make efforts to address the issue of Pyongyang's abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, as the victims' families worry that the tightening of sanctions would make it increasingly hard to resolve the issue. Earlier this month, North Korea launched a long-range rocket.

The United States on Wednesday flew four stealth F-22 fighter jets over South Korea and reaffirmed that it maintains an "ironclad commitment" to the defense of its Asian ally.

"Now they are applying the same pattern for the Korean peninsula", he said.

South Korea has been "very circumspect" and reluctant to support such an information campaign, but that period is over, Kirby said, referring to the frustration and anger South Korea has about the North in the wake of its nuclear and possible tests.

Foreign analysts say the North's rocket launch and nuclear test put the country further along its quest for a nuclear-armed missile that could reach the US mainland.

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